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 Post subject: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 54
Location: calgary, AB, CA
so i will be moving soon to a brand new build. the basement is where the audio gear will live. instead of opting for a finished basement I thought to myself, what a great oppurtunity to have a blank slate to work with in regards to things we all know help that wouldn't typically be taken care of or considered.
The foorprint of the space i'm going to eventually use isn't huge, aprox 12 x 17 with 8 foot celings.
I have a pair of maggies, 1.7's im using for 2 channel just fyi. They do like their space, i currently have them almost 4 feet from back wall and 2.5 from sides. I've done a bunch of diy acoustic pannels and hung at reflection points, one on celing and a big ol diffuser behind listening position.
Having said all this, with a blank slate I'm pumped to do the behind the scene's things like soundproofing between celing joists, perhaps doubling up on drywall, dedicated 20a circut, etc...
My qusetion is, what would be at the top of your priorities? What have you done with great results or what would you like to do? Also, with the couple of ideas that i have, are they worth it. Just tryin to get some free advice from those who know. Thanks for any help!


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:36 pm
Posts: 5589
Location: St catherine, QC, CA
jetsfan wrote:
so i will be moving soon to a brand new build. the basement is where the audio gear will live. instead of opting for a finished basement I thought to myself, what a great oppurtunity to have a blank slate to work with in regards to things we all know help that wouldn't typically be taken care of or considered.
The foorprint of the space i'm going to eventually use isn't huge, aprox 12 x 17 with 8 foot celings.
I have a pair of maggies, 1.7's im using for 2 channel just fyi. They do like their space, i currently have them almost 4 feet from back wall and 2.5 from sides. I've done a bunch of diy acoustic pannels and hung at reflection points, one on celing and a big ol diffuser behind listening position.
Having said all this, with a blank slate I'm pumped to do the behind the scene's things like soundproofing between celing joists, perhaps doubling up on drywall, dedicated 20a circut, etc...
My qusetion is, what would be at the top of your priorities? What have you done with great results or what would you like to do? Also, with the couple of ideas that i have, are they worth it. Just tryin to get some free advice from those who know. Thanks for any help!


Well from MY experience with panels you my friend are already 80% there, 4 feet from the back wall and 2.5 feet from the sides that is already very good for the 1.7s all that is left is a little bit of tweaking and you should be just fine, yes for panels to be HAPPY they need room to BREATHE and good electronics that's it. ENJOY THE MUSIC.

_________________
Chord CPM-2600 integrated amplifier - Chord One cd player - Acoustat 1+1 speakers
Life without Acoustat is possible BUT i wouldn't dare.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
Just finishing work on my own 're-finished' basement listening room. My basement was already finished but I decided to strip it to the concrete and start over. :shock:

My initial intention was to eliminate the very minimal basement 'smell' that is present in 99% of houses. This occurs because of a microscopic layer of powder mold that grows on the surface of the bare concrete and also the underside of anything that contacts the cement eg. insulation and vapour guard. The cement foundation is always colder than the air in the basement and thus condensation forms and fuels the mold growth. Rub your finger along the cement then smell, this is powder mold. Also the concrete is porous and breathes moisture from outside into the basement. Anyone running a dehumidifier in the basement is all to aware of this problem.

On the floor I sealed with a concrete sealing paint. But the walls were another matter. When I priced paint, vapour seal, insulation batting, plus installation labour, things really started to add up. It made more sense to spray foam. This vapour seals and insulates all in one shot. With a much better R factor than batts, partly because it seeps into every crack including the critical one between where the top of the foundation meets bottom of the wooden house frame. 2" thick is minimum depth for vapour sealing, I went with 3". Be sure to frame first before you have it sprayed, otherwise you will lose more space framing on top of the dried foam.

My panel still had 7 empty 15 amp slots for breakers so I added these and ran 7 new dedicated lines. Also added plugs in the ceiling (not dedicated) for a future projector at one end and a roll down big screen at the other end. Ran coax line for cable box and also speaker wire for the potential of rear surround speakers. (although not likely to be used as I am a die hard 2 channel guy, even for movies) Next I ran 1.5" plastic conduit with 2 HDMI cables inside for the projector which will be on the ceiling but at the opposite end of the room from the audio stand. The plastic conduit allows me to easily pull wires at a later date. The room orientation may change in the future so I ran conduit with a rope inside in the other direction as well. May never get used but it will sure be easy to pull wires if the video screen moves to the other wall.

The ductwork was then covered with a layer of mass loaded vinyl. And inline mufflers were added where necessary. Next step I added two layers of Roxul safe and sound insulation in between all ceiling frames and in all the gaps around the covered ducts.

Finally ready for the resilient channel on walls and ceilings attached no closer than 4" from the ceiling. Now the first layer of 5/8" drywall, careful to screw only between the wall frame 2x4's and ceiling wood. You don't want to short out the channel by screwing the drywall into the wood. Then two tubes of green glue 'damping compound' on the second sheet before pressing it to the first layer of drywall. Again, careful not to short out by screwing through into the wood. Plus leave a small 1/4" gap on the top between the wall and ceiling. Wall and ceiling should not touch. This gap is later sealed with another type of acoustic caulking. Including the gap between the wall and floor. Missing this step can seriously reduce acoustic isolation.

When I begin my main floor soundproofing next I will not be using resilient channel. I will switch to a more effective but much more expensive hat channel isolated by special designed damped brackets.
I researched sound proofing companies and settled on Wilrep in Mississauga who supplied free expert advice as well as the specialty products not available at your local builder supply like mass loaded vinyl, green glue, acoustic caulking and hat channel mounting brackets. I dealt with Chris in sales, his wealth of knowledge was indispensable in helping to make my project run smoothly. If you do call then mentioning that Paul the audio guy referred you may or may not earn me some future brownie points so thanks in advance. And no I am not affiliated with this company, just a happy customer.
http://www.wilrep.com/


Last edited by newmusic on Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 54
Location: calgary, AB, CA
Wow, its a pleasure Mr. A! and thanks for the advice. Also, Great Stuff newmusic!! I was half thinking about treating the cememt floors before i laid any flooring. And the spray foam thing is deffinatly on my radar. It will be used on box joints, windows and such, but i'd like to go a step further and hit the basement walls instead of r20 insulation. As far as outlets and running cord goes, i need to spend a bit more time thinking about the "best solution". I agree its good to future proof things, (HDMI runs). What is the general opinion about doing this for speaker wire and other runs however? It is one more connection, but is way more attrictive... hmmm. Love the extra dampening thoughts with acoustic caulking. Must be one of those tweaks you're super happy you did.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
If you want to ensure no future microscopic mould growth then absolutely hit the walls with spray foam.
According to Chris at Wilrep the acoustic caulking is critical otherwise soundproofing will be seriously compromised.
Sound can escape from even the tiniest cracks. For example I put a $7 strip of foam around the perimeter of the door frames on my childrens bedrooms and was completely shocked with the reduction of sound bleed in from my main floor listening room.

A few things I forgot to mention. Wilrep sells a special putty that can be used to totally seal all electrical holes like ac plug boxes and light wiring pull throughs. You can't have pot lighting or you will just be letting all the sound through there. I also use the putty to damp the ac boxes from vibration including sticking some to the back of the cover plates as acoustic damping.
The only potential downside to spray foam is that it insulates so good that your room may get hot in the winter from excess heat radiating from your furnace and ducting. I intend to insulate all heat ducting and as much of the furnace as possible.
One additional thing, Wilrep recommends roxul safe and sound doors (not sold by them but available at home depot etc.) I will be adding one of these to my furnace room/listening room interface as well as one at the top of the basement stairs. Edges around the door will have a sealing strip (cheap foam from home hardware) or the special vinyl one that wilrep sells. Then the bottom of the doors will have a sweep.

Also critical is the green glue between the two layers of drywall. Do not get the cheap stuff that home hardware recommends for this purpose. The special green glue that Wilrep sells is like night and day in its deadening properties. Check the demonstration in their showroom for hands on proof. Yes it is a bit expensive at over $15 per tube and 2 tubes required per drywall sheet interface. But what it does is like magic. It turns two sheets of drywall stuck together into what seems like solid concrete. Absolutely amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:41 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Stittsville/Ottawa, ON, CA
We recently finished our basement. Spray foamed all the walls, headers, put R20 batts in ceiling. Installed Dri-Core on cement floor, then covered with carpet. Think ahead of what you want to do for wiring now and also what you may want to do in future. I made the big mistake of not running a network cable from my router into the basement. Now I have to stream hi rez audio wirelessly which works well most of the time, but hardwiring network streamers is better, at least for now.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
I have yet to install my flooring and that dricore looks cool thanks for the tip.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:39 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Oshawa, ON, CA
Not sure if I should ask offline, if I should, please let me know.

Question on the spray foam, appx cost for the exterior walls? I'm looking at doing the same thing, plus the 1/2 story walls on my 1 1/2 story war home.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I lived in the house I am in for 7 years with an unfinished basement, and just this winter past finished it up as a family room with pool table and 5.1 HT with 60 inch plasma.

I moderate a circle over at Audiocircle.com, so I posted a thread there about the build - http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=113424.0. Lots of pics of my build, and ideas chipped in by the great members there.

I also asked specifically about what wires to run before the drywall went up - http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=113851.msg1186365#msg1186365.

I think the first thing to do is decide what you are trying to do. Are you trying to isolate this room from other noise in the house? Are you trying to contain 99% of the sound coming out of this room? Are you trying to just build up a room in the basement that does the simple stuff, but does not go all the way or spend all the $ to truly soundproof?

Some great advice given so far.

I wanted to build a space that I could listen to music in at all hours, but not disturb the others in the house. I did not want to fully soundproof the space. I did the simple stuff that did not cost much extra.

I framed first and then did 2lb closed cell spray foam on all the exterior walls and joist cavities. I only went with 2 inch, so around R12. I did Roxul Safe n Sound in all interior walls (bathroom and the dividing wall between the main space and the utility room), and the ceiling. I did install a Safe n Sound door at the top of the stairs, and used a door sweep and seal around that door. We did do pot lights, all enclosed in IC rated boxes, and stuffed around with Roxul. I used Delta FL and 5/8 plywood for the subfloor. I built a media closet and ran wires in the ceiling to 2 different spots. I also put in 2 conduits for future wiring needs. The prior owner had a woodshop in the basement, and had installed a pony panel, so I reused that for 8 dedicated AC lines for the HT setup (including future PJ and screen).

I ran in wall wires for all 5 audio channels (I bought in wall rated wiring from Cablesales here in Canada that resells Monoprice). I ran 2 HDMI's, F type Coax, RCA cables, and many many Cat6e wires to many locations. Inside the media closet is an 8 port Gigabit switch, and my Bell modem/router.

This allowed me to hardwire my blu ray player, my netbook (dedicated music server) and a few other devices. Of course wifi is still available throughout the house, but I have network drops in the basement and even ran 2 to the main floor while I had the ceiling open.

At the end of it all, I think I was pretty successful 5 months later. I can play my music loud enough to satisfy me when all others are in bed or in other places in the house, and it is not bothersome to them. I would say that bass does escape my space, so the extra soundproofing ideas already suggested would be what it will take to truly make the room soundproofed if you want.

If you are building other rooms in the basement, you might consider staggering the studs of the interior walls that are shared with the listening room, that can also help with sound transmission.

One oops I did, was that I although I ran all 5 audio channels in wall, I did not run an extra set for a dedicated 2 channel setup sharing the room. I will have to use my conduits, and be creative when I install that. I had thought that the 5.1 setup could serve both needs. Turns out the space can, but the love of 2 channel is still here, so I will look for some dedicated 2 channel speakers after all!

Lesson learned is that running wires when the walls are still down is a great way to go. I spent about $500 on wiring, but should have spent another $100...


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 54
Location: calgary, AB, CA
i was thinking the dricore flooring as well. partly because i've seen it used so many times on diy network and aslo because i love the idea of a small "breathable" gap for acoustic as well as comfort and health concearns
so would it be wise to seal concrete also?? or as is to breathe? I'm going a little west of calgary, so very dry...
Big thanks for the help marc!


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I did not seal the concrete under my subfloor. I chose Delta FL and 5/8ths plywood over dricore simply on cost. I was able to save about $600 or so in my 600 square foot space.

But, moving those small dricore pieces is a heck of a lot easier than bringing in 4x8 sheets of plywood, so your call!

I would advise 5/8 drywall for the ceiling of the basement too, I did that (just used 1/2 on all vertical surfaces) and it helps isolate the sound (and is a much better fire break as a bonus).

I also spent a weekend chasing all my water and gas lines, and adding straps or foam insulation strategically to ensure no rattles in the future. I had experienced some rattling in the past when the space was unfinished - pipes when sinks would shut off, or bass from my system causing issues. Since spending the time to strap it all down, I have had no issues.

Once my bulkhead was framed up (burying the HVAC trunk and metal beam) I 100% stuffed it with pink insulation. I would have used more Roxul there, but was advised by folks who know that in that application the pink would be fine. That was WELL worth the effort. Formerly the trunk would BOOM if you thumped it, and once the framing was stuffed with pink, it would just thud.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 54
Location: calgary, AB, CA
going overkill on the roxull in celing and around ducts is in the plans. thinking itll help with isolation as well as bass mgmt. Idealy i dont want to have to "super chunk" anything or use my current solution, a diy bass trap. While effictive, kinda largish! In the end i'd rather boost the low end with a sub or 2 paired with the maggies due to too much low end absorbation than the other way around

just remembered something the wife requested, possibility of a wood slat wall. This peaked my curosity and did not immediatly veto it. Any one try this?


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2371
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
Good advice on adding CAT 6 wires. I was relying heavily on wireless but recently ran a few lines to my device locations on my main floor and added a few switch boxes so all is wired now. Improved everything.
Also consider your lighting. I too used pots but with the GU10 halogen bulbs so I could use a dimmer. They kick a lot of heat. I wondered why the kids always removed the one over the couch until I watched a hockey game down there one night. Suggest LED lighting as the gear should heat up the room enough.


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:44 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
I had a unfinished basement. The first thing I did was upgrade to wire to 12 gauge. Then I had many many hospital grade plugs installed.

each plug has its own breaker...and the lights are under a separate breaker.

You need to research this but I believe 20a requires a 10 gauge wire...those are very tough

To fit into a socket.

For me, those were the tough parts to upgrade once he room was semi developed...

Happy renovating.

Simon


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 Post subject: Re: unfinished basement
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Caledonia, ON, CA
jetsfan wrote:
just remembered something the wife requested, possibility of a wood slat wall. This peaked my curosity and did not immediatly veto it. Any one try this?


My friend has wood slat walls in his basement listening room. When the sub is turned on and placed closer to the wall, the solid wood panels can vibrate quite a bit at times. Effectively ruining the sound.
Im'e sure it could be done right but the panels would have to be secured very tightly and possibly a rubbery absorptive layer of green glue could be applied between the wood and a drywall backing plate.


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